Book Review Interview

Queer Books, Queer Readers: Patrick Myers Recommends Alec

Patrick Myers Queer Books Queer Readers

Patrick Myers (he/him) is a freelance writer and playwright. His practice encompasses a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to writing, producing, criticism, and teaching. His work has appeared in American Theatre, HowlRound Theatre Commons, and ARTSATL, and he can be found tweeting irreverently @patrickrmyers on Twitter.

What queer book have you chosen to share with our readers today?

I’ve picked Alec by William di Canzio. It’s inspired by the novel Maurice by E.M. Forster, where two men fall in love in Edwardian England and run away together – destined to be happy for the rest of their days. Where Maurice explores the world through the gentleman Maurice’s perspective, di Canzio explores the world through the eyes of his working class lover, Alec, and expands the plot to what happens after they run away together.

Why is this book one of your favorites?

I love Maurice, and Alec is the perfect companion piece to that novel – where Maurice was written in 1913, the 21st century perspective on the events of the novel allows for an understanding of what comes next for Maurice and Alex: World War 1. With that as the catalyst, the novel becomes a sweeping romance not just for how they come together, but how they stay together. What is more romantic than unyielding and undying commitment? Also, it has some of the best sex scenes between two men ever written, both realistic and hot. There is nothing left on the table. I could want nothing more from a book.

How would you describe yourself as a reader?

I’m a terrible reader. I either devour book after book or read infrequently, if at all. I use random bills or printouts or credit cards as bookmarks. I stop halfway through a book and don’t continue reading until months or years later, picking it back up where I left off as if no time had elapsed. I live and die by a book and recommend it to friends and when they ask for the plot, I seem to be unable to conjure any of the narrative for them. I start and stop multiple books before I pick one to finish, as if I was at a wine tasting, sampling for the bottle I’d bring home. I love books. But I’m a tedious, unrepentant, awful lover to have.

As a queer person, have books helped you explore or express your queer identity?

I didn’t have access to queer books as a child or teenager, but I did have an internet connection, so I spent much of my youth online reading and writing fanfiction for some of my favorite books. I would write about characters I identified with and used them as proxies for my burgeoning queer identity. In that way, I was able to use accessible books to explore queerness when I had none available to me. And it was reading that opened up that door for me.

Other than reading, are there any queer nerdy recommendations that you would like to leave with our readers?

For anyone who loves to game, I’d definitely recommend Hades published by Supergiant Games. It’s a roguelike dungeon crawler, which is normally not my type of game. HOWEVER! You play as the son of Hades and Persephone, Zagreus, and throughout your many attempts to escape the depths of hell, you are given the opportunity to reunite some of Greek mythology’s most iconic couples, including the warriors Achilles and Patroclus. On top of that, Zagreus has multiple characters he can romance, including the dashing and mysterious God of Death, Thanatos (or Than for short). It’s brutal and romantic and filled with unearthly wonder – perfect for a rainy day on the couch.

Thank you, Patrick!

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